Failure to Diagnose a Heart Attack
Proper diagnosis is vital to treating medical conditions before they worsen. When patients receive an inaccurate or delayed diagnosis, the consequences can be catastrophic. Patients frequently suffer physical, emotional, and financial losses due to misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose.
Heart attacks are a commonly misdiagnosed medical emergency. Failure to diagnose a heart attack can result in severe complications or death. Medical malpractice attorneys at Zucker & Regev, P.C. work with individuals in the Brooklyn, NY, area to hold negligent medical professionals accountable for damages related to misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose.
Heart Attack Symptoms
A heart attack has a range of possible symptoms. Some are widely known, while others are less recognizable. Some of the most common symptoms of a heart attack include:
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Muscle weakness
- Nausea or vomiting
- Pain in the jaw, neck, shoulder, back, or stomach
How Does Heart Attack Misdiagnosis Occur?
A patient may not recognize potential heart attack symptoms, but a medical professional should. When a patient presents symptoms associated with a heart attack or cardiac arrest, appropriate tests should be ordered.
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for medical professionals to misdiagnose or fail to diagnose a heart attack. Some of the reasons for heart attack misdiagnosis and failure to diagnose include:
- Failure to recognize atypical heart attack symptoms
- Failure to recognize heart attack symptoms due to patient demographics (for example, the patient is younger than typical heart attack victims)
- Writing off heart attack symptoms as symptoms of heartburn, indigestion, anxiety, or other less catastrophic medical conditions
- Failure to order necessary diagnostic tests
- Misreading of test or screening results
- Failure to follow up on lab tests
Consequences of Failure to Diagnose a Heart Attack
In most cases, a heart attack must be diagnosed and treated within an hour of symptom onset to minimize muscle death and scarring. Failure to promptly diagnose a heart attack can have life-altering consequences. Failure to diagnose a heart attack can be fatal for the patient.
Patients who survive a misdiagnosis often end up readmitted to the hospital until a proper diagnosis is made. Delayed diagnosis of a heart attack may result in permanent heart damage and scarring, which limits physical activities. Our Brooklyn clients may also suffer brain damage as a result of a misdiagnosed heart attack.
Do I Have a Medical Malpractice Case?
Failure to diagnose a heart attack is often grounds for a medical malpractice case. A medical malpractice claim can be made if the diagnosis is the result of a medical professional’s failure to provide the accepted standard of care. In other words, if another similarly trained medical professional could be expected to make an accurate diagnosis when presented with the same circumstances, the misdiagnosis is considered neglect or malpractice.
Medical Malpractice Damages
Medical malpractice victims can pursue restitution for economic and non-economic losses related to misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose. Potential areas of compensation in a medical malpractice case include:
- Medical expenses
- Cost of ongoing care or rehabilitation
- Lost wages
- Diminished wage-earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Diminished quality of life
- Wrongful death damages (funeral and burial expenses, loss of consortium, etc.)
Contact Zucker & Regev, P.C.
Accurate diagnosis is crucial to a patient’s health and well-being. In the case of a heart attack, failure to diagnose can be deadly. If you or a loved one has suffered the consequences of a misdiagnosed heart attack, lawyers at Zucker & Regev, P.C. can advise you of your legal options. To discuss the details of your case with our Brooklyn lawyers, contact our law firm at your earliest convenience and request a case review.